Nile Cruise, Valley of The Kings & Hatshepsut Temple

Day 4

5:45 the alarm went off. Today we were off to see the Valley of the Kings and Hatshepsut Temple. Lisa and I quickly got ready and met the rest of our group for breakfast in the dining area on the 1st deck. We were both pretty tired but Lisa was starting to feel sick again. I had breakfast but Lisa just nibbled on some toast; she didn’t actually even finish the toast because she was feeling so sick.

After breakfast we headed back to the room, quickly grabbed our gear and met the rest of the group in the main area of the cruise ship.

Crossing the Nile on by Boat

Crossing the Nile on by Boat

We exited the ship and hopped on board the little boat that crossed to the other side of the Nile River where the bus headed for the famous Valley of the Kings. It was a 15 or 20 minute bus drive up and Lisa and I just watched out the window while taking in the country side. One of the most amazing parts of the area surrounding the Nile is how the rich and green the vegetation is surrounding the Nile and how fast it turns from green to desert sand. There is a pretty distinct line between the two and it does not just gradually happen.

We arrived at the Valley of the Kings; our guide magic told us immediately that we should leave our cameras on the bus as cameras weren’t allowed past the gates of the Valley of the Kings.

Magic lead us into the visitor center where they had a 3D model of the Valley of the Kings which described the different tombs, and the different Egyptian dynasties. He then led us outside and through the gates. Our tickets allowed us to enter into 3 tombs and if we wanted to see Ramses the 6 or King Tut’s tomb we had to pay an additional 100 Egyptian pounds each. Lisa and I opted just for the 3 that Magic had chosen for us; the tombs of Ramses’ 1, 9 and 4. A couple in our group purchased tickets to see the Tomb of Tutankhamen.

We got to the first tomb entrance for Ramses the 1st, there was a fairly large queue but it was moving pretty fast. We entered the shaft and were amazed at all the depictions of the Egyptians on the walls and all the hieroglyphs. The shaft of the tomb was probably 200 yards long before we came to the actual room where the tomb was located. The room was probably 15 x 15 meters and was a lot smaller than I imagined. The tomb of Ramses the 1st was directly in the middle and was quite impressive. It was huge and was hard to imagine that anyone could actually move it.

The walls of the tomb were covered with coloured drawings depicting the king’s passage into the afterlife it was really amazing to see and imagine what it would of felt like 3 thousand years ago when the king was buried here.

Exiting the tomb felt great, the air and humidity in the tomb was insane, as soon as you enter the tomb you begin to sweat profusely. It’s hard to imagine that people worked in those conditions 3000 years ago; they must have been in really great shape.

Valley of the Kings, Luxor Egypt

Valley of the Kings, Luxor Egypt

Te second tomb we visited in the Valley of the Kings was that of Ramses the 9th. The shaft of this tomb was a little longer and a little more decorated. Again the main chamber contained the tomb of Ramses the 9th and again it was amazingly big. This tomb seemed to be in a little better condition as there was a lot more color on the drawings.

The third and final tomb we visited was of Ramses the 4th. This is supposedly one of the better preserved and decorated tombs. The queue for this tomb was quite long but it was also moving pretty fast. When we entered this tomb the walls were covered with a glass so that you couldn’t touch them. The drawings and hieroglyphs were well preserved and most of the original colours were still on the walls. The shaft was probably 200 to 300 yards but at the end was a wooden fence that blocked visitors from entering into the main tomb. This was definitely the most impressive of the three tombs as there were so many colours still left on the original carvings. It must have been quite impressive when they originally buried the king in it.

By now it was approaching 9 and the Valley of the Kings was starting to warm up. I can’t imagine anyone being capable of doing any physical work in these conditions. The Egyptians who dug those tombs must have been really hard workers.

We gathered outside the last tomb and waited for the couple who had gone to purchase tickets to enter the Tomb of Tutankhamen before we exited. Once the group was back together, Magic led us outside the gates and back onto the bus.

Local Carving Shop, Luxor Egypt

Local Carving Shop, Luxor Egypt

On our way to Hatshepsut Temple we made a stop at a local carving shop. We were given the usual tour and then brought into the shop for the sales pitch. Out of all the stuff they’d shown us thus far this seemed the most appealing to Lisa and me.

Lisa and I checked out some of the carvings. Eventually I found a carving of a cat that I thought would make a good Christmas gift. So I bargained with the guy; he started at 300 and I got him down to 150 ($30) Canadian.

After the shop we headed over Hatshepsut Temple. When we arrived we debarked from the bus and headed over to the tourist center where there was a 3D model of the grounds just like the previous three stops. Magic brought us into the tourist center and described the story of Hatshepsut Temple. After that we exited the tourist center and hopped on a small train type contraption which took us to the main staircase that leads up into the temple. There Magic gave us 40 minutes to explore the temple by ourselves. So Lisa and I walked around and checked out the different parts of the temple. The lower section was closed off due to construction but we were able to explore the 2nd and 3rd floor. Again the construction and the attention to detail were amazing. Unfortunately some of the rooms that were carved directly into the hillside were closed off and we weren’t able to explore them.

Hatshepsut Temple, Luxor Egypt

Hatshepsut Temple, Luxor Egypt

At one point and Egyptian man came up to Lisa and myself and before he could say anything I told him not thanks, Lisa got a little upset because he was actually just grabbing his bottle of water behind us.

After the 40 minutes we returned back to the entrance were most of the group was waiting. Lisa was feeling pretty hot so she grabbed a cool treat from the little shop at the entrance.

Once our group was back together we hopped back on the bus and headed back to the ship, but before we got there we made a quick stop at a spot that they recently uncovered two huge ancient Egyptian statues. We quickly got off the bus and snapped a few quick shots and hopped back on the bus, and then to the boat to cross back over the river and back to our ship.

Hatshepsut Temple Entrance, Luxor Egypt

Hatshepsut Temple Entrance, Luxor Egypt

By the time we got back on ship my stomach wasn’t doing so well, so we quickly headed back to the room. After the stomach ordeal we headed back to the streets and stocked up on water and brought it back to our room before the ship left the dock for the day.

1 o’clock the ship started to move and we started sailing down the river on to our next destination Edfu. We went for lunch at 1 o’clock and then spent the rest of the day on the sundeck enjoying some drinks and swimming in the pool.

Later in the day we the ship slowed and eventually came to a stop at the locks. There were only a few other ships ahead of us and it didn’t look like we were going to have to wait very long. Before our ship could even stop there were these little row boats approaching the ship and I couldn’t believe it, there were guys trying to sell stuff from there little ships; these guys are impossible to escape. They would start throwing stuff up on the ship and if you wanted to buy something you would barter from the ship and then toss the money in a plastic bag down to them. I didn’t think it was possible, but eventually the guys made a few sales from our ship. You really have to see it to believe it; it’s really crazy.

Later in the evening, just before supper we passed through the locks; it was a pretty neat experience as I had never been through a set of locks before. Lisa and I watched from our room but then went back up to the main deck to catch all the action.

Supper was served at 8:30 and unknown to Lisa or I there was a surprise for us after supper. The staff of the ship and our tour guide Magic came out with a cake and singing some song, I’m imagining it was some Egyptian song about love. I had made the mistake of telling some of our group members that it was our anniversary, and I think one of them tipped off Magic. But when the crew came out with the cake they brought it to the wrong people and everyone had a good laugh at that. They were then pointed back to where Lisa and I were sitting and brought us the cake, then grabbed us and forced us to get up and dance in front of the entire ship. It was pretty embarrassing but everyone had a good laugh.

After cake Lisa was whisked away by Magic and taken to the ships shop where he made her try on a fairly revealing dress; he somehow got Lisa to try it on in front of me alone in our room. Lisa looked great but it definitely wasn’t her type of dress. We brought the dress back to the shop and had some laughs with Magic and then headed to our room to get some well needed sleep.

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